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The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 3 by Thomas Babington Macaulay

Part 3 out of 13

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Thus the civil power had, in the space of a few months, been
transferred from the Saxon to the Celtic population. The transfer
of the military power had been not less complete. The army,
which, under the command of Ormond, had been the chief safeguard
of the English ascendency, had ceased to exist. Whole regiments
had been dissolved and reconstructed. Six thousand Protestant
veterans, deprived of their bread, were brooding in retirement
over their wrongs, or had crossed the sea and joined the standard
of William. Their place was supplied by men who had long suffered
oppression, and who, finding themselves suddenly transformed from
slaves into masters, were impatient to pay back, with accumulated
usury, the heavy debt of injuries and insults. The new soldiers,
it was said, never passed an Englishman without cursing him and
calling him by some foul name. They were the terror of every
Protestant innkeeper; for, from the moment when they came under
his roof, they ate and drank every thing: they paid for nothing;
and by their rude swaggering they scared more respectable guests
from his door.120

Such was the state of Ireland when the Prince of Orange landed at
Torbay. From that time every packet which arrived at Dublin
brought tidings, such as could not but increase the mutual fear
and loathing of the hostile races. The colonist, who, after long
enjoying and abusing power, had now tasted for a moment the
bitterness of servitude, the native, who, having drunk to the
dregs all the bitterness of servitude, had at length for a moment
enjoyed and abused power, were alike sensible that a great
crisis, a crisis like that of 1641, was at hand. The majority
impatiently expected Phelim O'Neil to revive in Tyrconnel. The
minority saw in William a second Over.

On which side the first blow was struck was a question which
Williamites and Jacobites afterwards debated with much asperity.
But no question could be more idle. History must do to both
parties the justice which neither has ever done to the other, and
must admit that both had fair pleas and cruel provocations. Both
had been placed, by a fate for which neither was answerable, in
such a situation that, human nature being what it is, they could
not but regard each other with enmity. During three years the
government which might have reconciled them had systematically
employed its whole power for the purpose of inflaming their
enmity to madness. It was now impossible to establish in Ireland
a just and beneficent government, a government which should know
no distinction of race or of sect, a government which, while
strictly respecting the rights guaranteed by law to the new
landowners, should alleviate by a judicious liberality the
misfortunes of the ancient gentry. Such a government James might
have established in the day of his power. But the opportunity had
passed away: compromise had become impossible: the two infuriated
castes were alike convinced that it was necessary to oppress or
to be oppressed, and that there could be no safety but in
victory, vengeance, and dominion. They agreed only in spurning
out of the way every mediator who sought to reconcile them.

During some weeks there were outrages, insults, evil reports,
violent panics, the natural preludes of the terrible conflict
which was at hand. A rumour spread over the whole island that, on
the ninth of December, there would be a general massacre of the
Englishry. Tyrconnel sent for the chief Protestants of Dublin to
the Castle, and, with his usual energy of diction, invoked on
himself all the vengeance of heaven if the report was not a
cursed, a blasted, a confounded lie. It was said that, in his
rage at finding his oaths ineffectual, he pulled off his hat and
wig, and flung them into the fire.121 But lying Dick Talbot was
so well known that his imprecations and gesticulations only
strengthened the apprehension which they were meant to allay.
Ever since the recall of Clarendon there had been a large
emigration of timid and quiet people from the Irish ports to
England. That emigration now went on faster than ever. It was not
easy to obtain a passage on board of a well built or commodious
vessel. But many persons, made bold by the excess of fear, and
choosing rather to trust the winds and waves than the exasperated
Irishry, ventured to encounter all the dangers of Saint George's
Channel and of the Welsh coast in open boats and in the depth of
winter. The English who remained began, in almost every county,
to draw close together. Every large country house became a
fortress. Every visitor who arrived after nightfall was
challenged from a loophole or from a barricaded window; and, if
he attempted to enter without pass words and explanations, a
blunderbuss was presented to him. On the dreaded night of the
ninth of December, there was scarcely one Protestant mansion from
the Giant's Causeway to Bantry Bay in which armed men were not
watching and lights burning from the early sunset to the late

A minute account of what passed in one district at this time has
come down to us, and well illustrates the general state of the
kingdom. The south-western part of Kerry is now well known as the
most beautiful tract in the British isles. The mountains, the
glens, the capes stretching far into the Atlantic, the crags on
which the eagles build, the rivulets brawling down rocky passes,
the lakes overhung by groves in which the wild deer find covert,
attract every summer crowds of wanderers sated with the business
and the pleasures of great cities. The beauties of that country
are indeed too often hidden in the mist and rain which the west
wind brings up from a boundless ocean. But, on the rare days when
the sun shines out in all his glory, the landscape has a
freshness and a warmth of colouring seldom found in our latitude.
The myrtle loves the soil. The arbutus thrives better than even
on the sunny shore of Calabria.123 The turf is of livelier hue
than elsewhere: the hills glow with a richer purple: the varnish
of the holly and ivy is more glossy; and berries of a brighter
red peep through foliage of a brighter green. But during the
greater part of the seventeenth century, this paradise was as
little known to the civilised world as Spitzbergen or Greenland.
If ever it was mentioned, it was mentioned as a horrible desert,
a chaos of bogs, thickets, and precipices, where the she wolf
still littered, and where some half naked savages, who could not
speak a word of English, made themselves burrows in the mud, and
lived on roots and sour milk.124

At length, in the year 1670, the benevolent and enlightened Sir
William Petty determined to form an English settlement in this
wild district. He possessed a large domain there, which has
descended to a posterity worthy of such an ancestor. On the
improvement of that domain he expended, it was said, not less
than ten thousand pounds. The little town which he founded, named
from the bay of Kenmare, stood at the head of that bay, under a
mountain ridge, on the summit of which travellers now stop to
gaze upon the loveliest of the three lakes of Killarney. Scarcely
any village, built by an enterprising band of New Englanders, far
from the dwellings of their countrymen, in the midst of the
hunting grounds of the Red Indians, was more completely out of
the pale of civilisation than Kenmare. Between Petty's settlement
and the nearest English habitation the journey by land was of two
days through a wild and dangerous country. Yet the place
prospered. Forty-two houses were erected. The population amounted
to a hundred and eighty. The land round the town was well
cultivated. The cattle were numerous. Two small barks were
employed in fishing and trading along the coast. The supply of
herrings, pilchards, mackerel, and salmon was plentiful, and
would have been still more plentiful, had not the beach been, in
the finest part of the year, covered by multitudes of seals,
which preyed on the fish of the bay. Yet the seal was not an
unwelcome visitor: his fur was valuable,; and his oil supplied
light through the long nights of winter. An attempt was made with
great success to set up iron works. It was not yet the practice
to employ coal for the purpose of smelting; and the manufacturers
of Kent and Sussex had much difficulty in procuring timber at a
reasonable price. The neighbourhood of Kenmare was then richly
wooded; and Petty found it a gainful speculation to send ore
thither. The lovers of the picturesque still regret the woods of
oak and arbutus which were cut down to feed his furnaces. Another
scheme had occurred to his active and intelligent mind. Some of
the neighbouring islands abounded with variegated marble, red and
white, purple and green. Petty well knew at what cost the ancient
Romans had decorated their baths and temples with many coloured
columns hewn from Laconian and African quarries; and he seems to
have indulged the hope that the rocks of his wild domain in Kerry
might furnish embellishments to the mansions of Saint James's
Square, and to the choir of Saint Paul's Cathedral.125

From the first, the settlers had found that they must be prepared
to exercise the right of selfdefence to an extent which would
have been unnecessary and unjustifiable in a well governed
country. The law was altogether without force in the highlands
which lie on the south of the vale of Tralee. No officer of
justice willingly ventured into those parts. One pursuivant who
in 1680 attempted to execute a warrant there was murdered. The
people of Kenmare seem however to have been sufficiently secured
by their union, their intelligence and their spirit, till the
close of the year 1688. Then at length the effects of the policy
of Tyrconnel began to be felt ever, in that remote corner of
Ireland. In the eyes of the peasantry of Munster the colonists
were aliens and heretics. The buildings, the boats, the machines,
the granaries, the dairies, the furnaces, were doubtless
contemplated by the native race with that mingled envy and
contempt with which the ignorant naturally regard the triumphs of
knowledge. Nor is it at all improbable that the emigrants had
been guilty of those faults from which civilised men who settle
among an uncivilised people are rarely free. The power derived
from superior intelligence had, we may easily believe, been
sometimes displayed with insolence, and sometimes exerted with
injustice. Now therefore, when the news spread from altar to
altar, and from cabin to cabin, that the strangers were to be
driven out, and that their houses and lands were to be given as a
booty to the children of the soil, a predatory war commenced.
Plunderers, thirty, forty, seventy in a troop, prowled round the
town, some with firearms, some with pikes. The barns were robbed.
The horses were stolen. In one foray a hundred and forty cattle
were swept away and driven off through the ravines of Glengariff.
In one night six dwellings were broken open and pillaged. At last
the colonists, driven to extremity, resolved to die like men
rather than be murdered in their beds. The house built by Petty
for his agent was the largest in the place. It stood on a rocky
peninsula round which the waves of the bay broke. Here the whole
population assembled, seventy-five fighting men, with about a
hundred women and children. They had among them sixty firelocks,
and as many pikes and swords. Round the agent's house they threw
up with great speed a wall of turf fourteen feet in height and
twelve in thickness. The space enclosed was about half an acre.
Within this rampart all the arms, the ammunition and the
provisions of the settlement were collected, and several huts of
thin plank were built. When these preparations were completed,
the men of Kenmare began to make vigorous reprisals on their
Irish neighbours, seized robbers, recovered stolen property, and
continued during some weeks to act in all things as an
independent commonwealth. The government was carried on by
elective officers, to whom every member of the society swore
fidelity on the Holy Gospels.126

While the people of the small town of Kenmare were thus
bestirring themselves, similar preparations for defence were made
by larger communities on a larger scale. Great numbers of
gentlemen and yeomen quitted the open country, and repaired to
those towns which had been founded and incorporated for the
purpose of bridling the native population, and which, though
recently placed under the government of Roman Catholic
magistrates, were still inhabited chiefly by Protestants. A
considerable body of armed colonists mustered at Sligo, another
at Charleville, a third at Marlow, a fourth still more formidable
at Bandon.127 But the principal strongholds of the Englishry
during this evil time were Enniskillen and Londonderry.

Enniskillen, though the capital of the county of Fermanagh, was
then merely a village. It was built on an island surrounded by
the river which joins the two beautiful sheets of water known by
the common name of Lough Erne. The stream and both the lakes were
overhung on every side by natural forests. Enniskillen consisted
of about eighty dwellings clustering round an ancient castle. The
inhabitants were, with scarcely an exception, Protestants, and
boasted that their town had been true to the Protestant cause
through the terrible rebellion which broke out in 1641. Early in
December they received from Dublin an intimation that two
companies of Popish infantry were to be immediately quartered on
them. The alarm of the little community was great, and the
greater because it was known that a preaching friar had been
exerting himself to inflame the Irish population of the
neighbourhood against the heretics. A daring resolution was
taken. Come what might, the troops should not be admitted. Yet
the means of defence were slender. Not ten pounds of powder, not
twenty firelocks fit for use, could be collected within the
walls. Messengers were sent with pressing letters to summon the
Protestant gentry of the vicinage to the rescue; and the summons
was gallantly obeyed. In a few hours two hundred foot and a
hundred and fifty horse had assembled. Tyrconnel's soldiers were
already at hand. They brought with them a considerable supply of
arms to be distributed among the peasantry. The peasantry greeted
the royal standard with delight, and accompanied the march in
great numbers. The townsmen and their allies, instead of waiting
to be attacked, came boldly forth to encounter the intruders. The
officers of James had expected no resistance. They were
confounded when they saw confronting them a column of foot,
flanked by a large body of mounted gentlemen and yeomen. The
crowd of camp followers ran away in terror. The soldiers made a
retreat so precipitate that it might be called a flight, and
scarcely halted till they were thirty miles off at Cavan.128

The Protestants, elated by this easy victory, proceeded to make
arrangements for the government and defence of Enniskillen and of
the surrounding country. Gustavus Hamilton, a gentleman who had
served in the army, but who had recently been deprived of his
commission by Tyrconnel, and had since been living on an estate
in Fermanagh, was appointed Governor, and took up his residence
in the castle. Trusty men were enlisted, and armed with great
expedition. As there was a scarcity of swords and pikes, smiths
were employed to make weapons by fastening scythes on poles. All
the country houses round Lough Erne were turned into garrisons.
No Papist was suffered to be at large in the town; and the friar
who was accused of exerting his eloquence against the Englishry
was thrown into prison.129

The other great fastness of Protestantism was a place of more
importance. Eighty years before, during the troubles caused by
the last struggle of the houses of O'Neil and O'Donnel against
the authority of James the First, the ancient city of Derry had
been surprised by one of the native chiefs: the inhabitants had
been slaughtered, and the houses reduced to ashes. The insurgents
were speedily put down and punished: the government resolved to
restore the ruined town: the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common
Council of London were invited to assist in the work; and King
James the First made over to them in their corporate capacity the
ground covered by the ruins of the old Derry, and about six
thousand English acres in the neighbourhood.130

This country, then uncultivated and uninhabited, is now enriched
by industry, embellished by taste, and pleasing even to eyes
accustomed to the well tilled fields and stately manor houses of
England. A new city soon arose which, on account of its
connection with the capital of the empire, was called
Londonderry. The buildings covered the summit and slope of a hill
which overlooked the broad stream of the Foyle, then whitened by
vast flocks of wild swans.131 On the highest ground stood the
Cathedral, a church which, though erected when the secret of
Gothic architecture was lost, and though ill qualified to sustain
a comparison with the awful temples of the middle ages, is not
without grace and dignity. Near the Cathedral rose the palace of
the Bishop, whose see was one of the most valuable in Ireland.
The city was in form nearly an ellipse; and the principal streets
formed a cross, the arms of which met in a square called the
Diamond. The original houses have been either rebuilt or so much
repaired that their ancient character can no longer be traced;
but many of them were standing within living memory. They were in
general two stories in height; and some of them had stone
staircases on the outside. The dwellings were encompassed by a
wall of which the whole circumference was little less than a
mile. On the bastions were planted culverins and sakers presented
by the wealthy guilds of London to the colony. On some of these
ancient guns, which have done memorable service to a great cause,
the devices of the Fishmongers' Company, of the Vintners'
Company, and of the Merchant Tailors' Company are still

The inhabitants were Protestants of Anglosaxon blood. They were
indeed not all of one country or of one church but Englishmen and
Scotchmen, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, seem to have
generally lived together in friendship, a friendship which is
sufficiently explained by their common antipathy to the Irish
race and to the Popish religion. During the rebellion of 1641,
Londonderry had resolutely held out against the native
chieftains, and had been repeatedly besieged in vain.133 Since
the Restoration the city had prospered. The Foyle, when the tide
was high, brought up ships of large burden to the quay. The
fisheries throve greatly. The nets, it was said, were sometimes
so full that it was necessary to fling back multitudes of fish
into the waves. The quantity of salmon caught annually was
estimated at eleven hundred thousand pounds' weight.134

The people of Londonderry shared in the alarm which, towards the
close of the year 1688, was general among the Protestants settled
in Ireland. It was known that the aboriginal peasantry of the
neighbourhood were laying in pikes and knives. Priests had been
haranguing in a style of which, it must be owned, the Puritan
part of the Anglosaxon colony had little right to complain, about
the slaughter of the Amalekites, and the judgments which Saul had
brought on himself by sparing one of the proscribed race. Rumours
from various quarters and anonymous letters in various hands
agreed in naming the ninth of December as the day fixed for the
extirpation of the strangers. While the minds of the citizens
were agitated by these reports, news came that a regiment of
twelve hundred Papists, commanded by a Papist, Alexander
Macdonnell, Earl of Antrim, had received orders from the Lord
Deputy to occupy Londonderry, and was already on the march from
Coleraine. The consternation was extreme. Some were for closing
the gates and resisting; some for submitting; some for
temporising. The corporation had, like the other corporations of
Ireland, been remodelled. The magistrates were men of low station
and character. Among them was only one person of Anglosaxon
extraction; and he had turned Papist. In such rulers the
inhabitants could place no confidence.135 The Bishop, Ezekiel
Hopkins, resolutely adhered to the doctrine of nonresistance,
which he had preached during many years, and exhorted his flock
to go patiently to the slaughter rather than incur the guilt of
disobeying the Lord's Anointed.136 Antrim was meanwhile drawing
nearer and nearer. At length the citizens saw from the walls his
troops arrayed on the opposite shore of the Foyle. There was then
no bridge: but there was a ferry which kept up a constant
communication between the two banks of the river; and by this
ferry a detachment from Antrim's regiment crossed. The officers
presented themselves at the gate, produced a warrant directed to
the Mayor and Sheriffs, and demanded admittance and quarters for
his Majesty's soldiers.

Just at this moment thirteen young apprentices, most of whom
appear, from their names, to have been of Scottish birth or
descent, flew to the guard room, armed themselves, seized the
keys of the city, rushed to the Ferry Gate, closed it in the face
of the King's officers, and let down the portcullis. James
Morison, a citizen more advanced in years, addressed the
intruders from the top of the wall and advised them to be gone.
They stood in consultation before the gate till they heard him
cry, "Bring a great gun this way." They then thought it time to
get beyond the range of shot. They retreated, reembarked, and
rejoined their comrades on the other side of the river. The flame
had already spread. The whole city was up. The other gates were
secured. Sentinels paced the ramparts everywhere. The magazines
were opened. Muskets and gunpowder were distributed. Messengers
were sent, under cover of the following night, to the Protestant
gentlemen of the neighbouring counties. The bishop expostulated
in vain. It is indeed probable that the vehement and daring young
Scotchmen who had taken the lead on this occasion had little
respect for his office. One of them broke in on a discourse with
which he interrupted the military preparations by exclaiming, "A
good sermon, my lord; a very good sermon; but we have not time to
hear it just now."137

The Protestants of the neighbourhood promptly obeyed the summons
of Londonderry. Within forty-eight hours hundreds of horse and
foot came by various roads to the city. Antrim, not thinking
himself strong enough to risk an attack, or not disposed to take
on himself the responsibility of commencing a civil war without
further orders, retired with his troops to Coleraine.

It might have been expected that the resistance of Enniskillen
and Londonderry would have irritated Tyrconnel into taking some
desperate step. And in truth his savage and imperious temper was
at first inflamed by the news almost to madness. But, after
wreaking his rage, as usual, on his wig, he became somewhat
calmer. Tidings of a very sobering nature had just reached him.
The Prince of Orange was marching unopposed to London. Almost
every county and every great town in England had declared for
him. James, deserted by his ablest captains and by his nearest
relatives, had sent commissioners to treat with the invaders, and
had issued writs convoking a Parliament. While the result of the
negotiations which were pending in England was uncertain, the
Viceroy could not venture to take a bloody revenge on the
refractory Protestants of Ireland. He therefore thought it
expedient to affect for a time a clemency and moderation which
were by no means congenial to his disposition. The task of
quieting the Englishry of Ulster was intrusted to William
Stewart, Viscount Mountjoy. Mountjoy, a brave soldier, an
accomplished scholar, a zealous Protestant, and yet a zealous
Tory, was one of the very few members of the Established Church
who still held office in Ireland. He was Master of the Ordnance
in that kingdom, and was colonel of a regiment in which an
uncommonly large proportion of the Englishry had been suffered to
remain. At Dublin he was the centre of a small circle of learned
and ingenious men who had, under his presidency, formed
themselves into a Royal Society, the image, on a small scale, of
the Royal Society of London. In Ulster, with which he was
peculiarly connected, his name was held in high honour by the
colonists.138 He hastened with his regiment to Londonderry, and
was well received there. For it was known that, though he was
firmly attached to hereditary monarchy, he was not less firmly
attached to the reformed religion. The citizens readily permitted
him to leave within their walls a small garrison exclusively
composed of Protestants, under the command of his lieutenant
colonel, Robert Lundy, who took the title of Governor.139

The news of Mountjoy's visit to Ulster was highly gratifying to
the defenders of Enniskillen. Some gentlemen deputed by that town
waited on him to request his good offices, but were disappointed
by the reception which they found. "lily advice to you is," he
said, "to submit to the King's authority." "What, my Lord?" said
one of the deputies; "Are we to sit still and let ourselves be
butchered?" "The King," said Mountjoy, "will protect you." "If
all that we hear be true," said the deputy, "his Majesty will
find it hard enough to protect himself." The conference ended in
this unsatisfactory manner. Enniskillen still kept its attitude
of defiance; and Mountjoy returned to Dublin.140

By this time it had indeed become evident that James could not
protect himself. It was known in Ireland that he had fled; that
he had been stopped; that he had fled again; that the Prince of
Orange had arrived at Westminster in triumph, had taken on
himself the administration of the realm, and had issued letters
summoning a Convention.

Those lords and gentlemen at whose request the Prince had assumed
the government, had earnestly intreated him to take the state of
Ireland into his immediate consideration; and he had in reply
assured them that he would do his best to maintain the Protestant
religion and the English interest in that kingdom. His enemies
afterwards accused him of utterly disregarding this promise: nay,
they alleged that he purposely suffered Ireland to sink deeper
and deeper in calamity. Halifax, they said, had, with cruel and
perfidious ingenuity, devised this mode of placing the Convention
under a species of duress; and the trick had succeeded but too
well. The vote which called William to the throne would not have
passed so easily but for the extreme dangers which threatened the
state; and it was in consequence of his own dishonest inactivity
that those dangers had become extreme.141 As this accusation
rests on no proof, those who repeat it are at least bound to show
that some course clearly better than the course which William
took was open to him; and this they will find a difficult task.
If indeed he could, within a few weeks after his arrival in
London, have sent a great expedition to Ireland, that kingdom
might perhaps, after a short struggle, or without a struggle,
have submitted to his authority; and a long series of crimes and
calamities might have been averted. But the factious orators and
pamphleteers, who, much at their ease, reproached him for not
sending such an expedition, would have been perplexed if they had
been required to find the men, the ships, and the funds. The
English army had lately been arrayed against him: part of it was
still ill disposed towards him; and the whole was utterly
disorganized. Of the army which he had brought from Holland not a
regiment could be spared. He had found the treasury empty and the
pay of the navy in arrear. He had no power to hypothecate any
part of the public revenue. Those who lent him money lent it on
no security but his bare word. It was only by the patriotic
liberality of the merchants of London that he was enabled to
defray the ordinary charges of government till the meeting of the
Convention. It is surely unjust to blame him for not instantly
fitting out, in such circumstances, an armament sufficient to
conquer a kingdom.

Perceiving that, till the government of England was settled, it
would not be in his power to interfere effectually by arms in the
affairs of Ireland, he determined to try what effect negotiation
would produce. Those who judged after the event pronounced that
he had not, on this occasion, shown his usual sagacity. He ought,
they said, to have known that it was absurd to expect submission
from Tyrconnel. Such however was not at the time the opinion of
men who had the best means of information, and whose interest was
a sufficient pledge for their sincerity. A great meeting of
noblemen and gentlemen who had property in Ireland was held,
during the interregnum, at the house of the Duke of Ormond in
Saint James's Square. They advised the Prince to try whether the
Lord Deputy might not be induced to capitulate on honourable and
advantageous terms.142 In truth there is strong reason to believe
that Tyrconnel really wavered. For, fierce as were his passions,
they never made him forgetful of his interest; and he might well
doubt whether it were not for his interest, in declining years
and health, to retire from business with full indemnity for all
past offences, with high rank and with an ample fortune, rather
than to stake his life and property on the event of a war against
the whole power of England. It is certain that he professed
himself willing to yield. He opened a communication with the
Prince of Orange, and affected to take counsel with Mountjoy, and
with others who, though they had not thrown off their allegiance
to James, were yet firmly attached to the Established Church and
to the English connection.

In one quarter, a quarter from which William was justified in
expecting the most judicious counsel, there was a strong
conviction that the professions of Tyrconnel were sincere. No
British statesman had then so high a reputation throughout Europe
as Sir William Temple. His diplomatic skill had, twenty years
before, arrested the progress of the French power. He had been a
steady and an useful friend to the United Provinces and to the
House of Nassau. He had long been on terms of friendly confidence
with the Prince of Orange, and had negotiated that marriage to
which England owed her recent deliverance. With the affairs of
Ireland Temple was supposed to be peculiarly well acquainted. His
family had considerable property there: he had himself resided
there during several years: he had represented the county of
Carlow in parliament; and a large part of his income was derived
from a lucrative Irish office. There was no height of power, of
rank, or of opulence, to which he might not have risen, if he
would have consented to quit his retreat, and to lend his
assistance and the weight of his name to the new government. But
power, rank, and opulence had less attraction for his Epicurean
temper than ease and security. He rejected the most tempting
invitations, and continued to amuse himself with his books, his
tulips, and his pineapples, in rural seclusion. With some
hesitation, however, he consented to let his eldest son John
enter into the service of William. During the vacancy of the
throne, John Temple was employed in business of high importance;
and, on subjects connected with Ireland, his opinion, which might
reasonably be supposed to agree with his father's, had great
weight. The young politician flattered himself that he had
secured the services of an agent eminently qualified to bring the
negotiation with Tyrconnel to a prosperous issue.

This agent was one of a remarkable family which had sprung from a
noble Scottish stock, but which had long been settled in Ireland,
and which professed the Roman Catholic religion. In the gay crowd
which thronged Whitehall, during those scandalous years of
jubilee which immediately followed the Restoration, the Hamiltons
were preeminently conspicuous. The long fair ringlets, the
radiant bloom, and the languishing blue eyes of the lovely
Elizabeth still charm us on the canvass of Lely. She had the
glory of achieving no vulgar conquest. It was reserved for her
voluptuous beauty and for her flippant wit to overcome the
aversion which the coldhearted and scoffing Grammont felt for the
indissoluble tie. One of her brothers, Anthony, became the
chronicler of that brilliant and dissolute society of which he
had been one of the most brilliant and most dissolute members. He
deserves the high praise of having, though not a Frenchman,
written the book which is, of all books, the most exquisitely
French, both in spirit and in manner. Another brother, named
Richard, had, in foreign service, gained some military
experience. His wit and politeness had distinguished him even in
the splendid circle of Versailles. It was whispered that he had
dared to lift his eyes to an exalted lady, the natural daughter
of the Great King, the wife of a legitimate prince of the House
of Bourbon, and that she had not seemed to be displeased by the
attentions of her presumptuous admirer.143 The adventurer had
subsequently returned to his native country, had been appointed
Brigadier General in the Irish army, and had been sworn of the
Irish Privy Council. When the Dutch invasion was expected, he
came across Saint George's Channel with the troops which
Tyrconnel sent to reinforce the royal army. After the flight of
James, those troops submitted to the Prince of Orange. Richard
Hamilton not only made his own peace with what was now the ruling
power, but declared himself confident that, if he were sent to
Dublin, he could conduct the negotiation which had been opened
there to a happy close. If he failed, he pledged his word to
return to London in three weeks. His influence in Ireland was
known to be great: his honour had never been questioned; and he
was highly esteemed by the Temple family. John Temple declared
that he would answer for Richard Hamilton as for himself. This
guarantee was thought sufficient; and Hamilton set out for
Ireland, assuring his English friends that he should soon bring
Tyrconnel to reason. The offers which he was authorised to make
to the Roman Catholics and to the Lord Deputy personally were
most liberal.144

It is not impossible that Hamilton may have really meant to
perform his promise. But when he arrived at Dublin he found that
he had undertaken a task which was beyond his power. The
hesitation of Tyrconnel, whether genuine or feigned, was at an
end. He had found that he had no longer a choice. He had with
little difficulty stimulated the ignorant and susceptible Irish
to fury. To calm them was beyond his skill. Rumours were abroad
that the Viceroy was corresponding with the English; and these
rumours had set the nation on fire. The cry of the common people
was that, if he dared to sell them for wealth and honours, they
would burn the Castle and him in it, and would put themselves
under the protection of France.145 It was necessary for him to
protest, truly or falsely, that he had never harboured any
thought of submission, and that he had pretended to negotiate
only for the purpose of gaining time. Yet, before he openly
declared against the English settlers, and against England
herself, what must be a war to the death, he wished to rid
himself of Mountjoy, who had hitherto been true to the cause of
James, but who, it was well known, would never consent to be a
party to the spoliation and oppression of the colonists.
Hypocritical professions of friendship and of pacific intentions
were not spared. It was a sacred duty, Tyrconnel said, to avert
the calamities which seemed to be impending. King James himself,
if he understood the whole case, would not wish his Irish friends
to engage at that moment in an enterprise which must be fatal to
them and useless to him. He would permit them, he would command
them, to submit to necessity, and to reserve themselves for
better times. If any man of weight, loyal, able, and well
informed, would repair to Saint Germains and explain the state of
things, his Majesty would easily be convinced. Would Mountjoy
undertake this most honourable and important mission? Mountjoy
hesitated, and suggested that some person more likely to be
acceptable to the King should be the messenger. Tyrconnel swore,
ranted, declared that, unless King James were well advised,
Ireland would sink to the pit of hell, and insisted that Mountjoy
should go as the representative of the loyal members of the
Established Church, and should be accompanied by Chief Baron
Rice, a Roman Catholic high in the royal favour. Mountjoy
yielded. The two ambassadors departed together, but with very
different commissions. Rice was charged to tell James that
Mountjoy was a traitor at heart, and had been sent to France only
that the Protestants of Ireland might be deprived of a favourite
leader. The King was to be assured that he was impatiently
expected in Ireland, and that, if he would show himself there
with a French force, he might speedily retrieve his fallen
fortunes.146 The Chief Baron carried with him other instructions
which were probably kept secret even from the Court of Saint
Germains. If James should be unwilling to put himself at the head
of the native population of Ireland, Rice was directed to request
a private audience of Lewis, and to offer to make the island a
province of France.147

As soon as the two envoys had departed, Tyrconnel set himself to
prepare for the conflict which had become inevitable; and he was
strenuously assisted by the faithless Hamilton. The Irish nation
was called to arms; and the call was obeyed with strange
promptitude and enthusiasm. The flag on the Castle of Dublin was
embroidered with the words, "Now or never: now and for ever:" and
those words resounded through the whole island.148 Never in
modern Europe has there been such a rising up of a whole people.
The habits of the Celtic peasant were such that he made no
sacrifice in quitting his potatoe ground for the camp. He loved
excitement and adventure. He feared work far more than danger.
His national and religious feelings had, during three years, been
exasperated by the constant application of stimulants. At every
fair and market he had heard that a good time was at hand, that
the tyrants who spoke Saxon and lived in slated houses were about
to be swept away, and that the land would again belong to its own
children. By the peat fires of a hundred thousand cabins had
nightly been sung rude ballads which predicted the deliverance of
the oppressed race. The priests, most of whom belonged to those
old families which the Act of Settlement had ruined, but which
were still revered by the native population, had, from a thousand
altars, charged every Catholic to show his zeal for the true
Church by providing weapons against the day when it might be
necessary to try the chances of battle in her cause. The army,
which, under Ormond, had consisted of only eight regiments, was
now increased to forty-eight: and the ranks were soon full to
overflowing. It was impossible to find at short notice one tenth
of the number of good officers which was required. Commissions
were scattered profusely among idle cosherers who claimed to be
descended from good Irish families. Yet even thus the supply of
captains and lieutenants fell short of the demand; and many
companies were commanded by cobblers, tailors and footmen.149

The pay of the soldiers was very small. The private had only
threepence a day. One half only of this pittance was ever given
him in money; and that half was often in arrear. But a far more
seductive bait than his miserable stipend was the prospect of
boundless license. If the government allowed him less than
sufficed for his wants, it was not extreme to mark the means by
which he supplied the deficiency. Though four fifths of the
population of Ireland were Celtic and Roman Catholic, more than
four fifths of the property of Ireland belonged to the Protestant
Englishry. The garners, the cellars, above all the flocks and
herds of the minority, were abandoned to the majority. Whatever
the regular troops spared was devoured by bands of marauders who
overran almost every barony in the island. For the arming was now
universal. No man dared to present himself at mass without some
weapon, a pike, a long knife called a skean, or, at the very
least, a strong ashen stake, pointed and hardened in the fire.
The very women were exhorted by their spiritual directors to
carry skeans. Every smith, every carpenter, every cutler, was at
constant work on guns and blades. It was scarcely possible to get
a horse shod. If any Protestant artisan refused to assist in the
manufacture of implements which were to be used against his
nation and his religion, he was flung into prison. It seems
probable that, at the end of February, at least a hundred
thousand Irishmen were in arms. Near fifty thousand of them were
soldiers. The rest were banditti, whose violence and
licentiousness the Government affected to disapprove, but did not
really exert itself to suppress. The Protestants not only were
not protected, but were not suffered to protect themselves. It
was determined that they should be left unarmed in the midst of
an armed and hostile population. A day was fixed on which they
were to bring all their swords and firelocks to the parish
churches; and it was notified that every Protestant house in
which, after that day, a weapon should be found should be given
up to be sacked by the soldiers. Bitter complaints were made that
any knave might, by hiding a spear head or an old gun barrel in a
corner of a mansion, bring utter ruin on the owner.150

Chief Justice Keating, himself a Protestant, and almost the only
Protestant who still held a great place in Ireland, struggled
courageously in the cause of justice and order against the united
strength of the government and the populace. At the Wicklow
assizes of that spring, he, from the seat of judgment, set forth
with great strength of language the miserable state of the
country. Whole counties, he said, were devastated by a rabble
resembling the vultures and ravens which follow the march of an
army. Most of these wretches were not soldiers. They acted under
no authority known to the law. Yet it was, he owned, but too
evident that they were encouraged and screened by some who were
in high command. How else could it be that a market overt for
plunder should be held within a short distance of the capital?
The stories which travellers told of the savage Hottentots near
the Cape of Good Hope were realised in Leinster. Nothing was more
common than for an honest man to lie down rich in flocks and
herds acquired by the industry of a long life, and to wake a
beggar. It was however to small purpose that Keating attempted,
in the midst of that fearful anarchy, to uphold the supremacy of
the law. Priests and military chiefs appeared on the bench for
the purpose of overawing the judge and countenancing the robbers.
One ruffian escaped because no prosecutor dared to appear.
Another declared that he had armed himself in conformity to the
orders of his spiritual guide, and to the example of many persons
of higher station than himself, whom he saw at that moment in
Court. Two only of the Merry Boys, as they were called, were
convicted: the worst criminals escaped; and the Chief justice
indignantly told the jurymen that the guilt of the public ruin
lay at their door.151

When such disorder prevailed in Wicklow, it is easy to imagine
what must have been the state of districts more barbarous and
more remote from the seat of government. Keating appears to have
been the only magistrate who strenuously exerted himself to put
the law in force. Indeed Nugent, the Chief justice of the highest
criminal court of the realm, declared on the bench at Cork that,
without violence and spoliation, the intentions of the Government
could not be carried into effect, and that robbery must at that
conjuncture be tolerated as a necessary evil.152

The destruction of property which took place within a few weeks
would be incredible, if it were not attested by witnesses
unconnected with each other and attached to very different
interests. There is a close, and sometimes almost a verbal,
agreement between the description given by Protestants, who,
during that reign of terror, escaped, at the hazard of their
lives, to England, and the descriptions given by the envoys,
commissaries, and captains of Lewis. All agreed in declaring that
it would take many years to repair the waste which had been
wrought in a few weeks by the armed peasantry.153 Some of the
Saxon aristocracy had mansions richly furnished, and sideboards
gorgeous with silver bowls and chargers. All this wealth
disappeared. One house, in which there had been three thousand
pounds' worth of plate, was left without a spoon.154 But the
chief riches of Ireland consisted in cattle. Innumerable flocks
and herds covered that vast expanse of emerald meadow, saturated
with the moisture of the Atlantic. More than one gentleman
possessed twenty thousand sheep and four thousand oxen. The
freebooters who now overspread the country belonged to a class
which was accustomed to live on potatoes and sour whey, and which
had always regarded meat as a luxury reserved for the rich. These
men at first revelled in beef and mutton, as the savage invaders,
who of old poured down from the forests of the north on Italy,
revelled in Massic and Falernian wines. The Protestants described
with contemptuous disgust the strange gluttony of their newly
liberated slaves. The carcasses, half raw and half burned to
cinders, sometimes still bleeding, sometimes in a state of
loathsome decay, were torn to pieces and swallowed without salt,
bread, or herbs. Those marauders who preferred boiled meat, being
often in want of kettles, contrived to boil the steer in his own
skin. An absurd tragicomedy is still extant, which was acted in
this and the following year at some low theatre for the amusement
of the English populace. A crowd of half naked savages appeared
on the stage, howling a Celtic song and dancing round an ox. They
then proceeded to cut steaks out of the animal while still alive
and to fling the bleeding flesh on the coals. In truth the
barbarity and filthiness of the banquets of the Rapparees was
such as the dramatists of Grub Street could scarcely caricature.
When Lent began, the plunderers generally ceased to devour, but
continued to destroy. A peasant would kill a cow merely in order
to get a pair of brogues. Often a whole flock of sheep, often a
herd of fifty or sixty kine, was slaughtered: the beasts were
flayed; the fleeces and hides were carried away; and the bodies
were left to poison the air. The French ambassador reported to
his master that, in six weeks, fifty thousand horned cattle had
been slain in this manner, and were rotting on the ground all
over the country. The number of sheep that were butchered during
the same time was popularly said to have been three or four
hundred thousand.155

Any estimate which can now be framed of the value of the property
destroyed during this fearful conflict of races must necessarily
be very inexact. We are not however absolutely without materials
for such an estimate. The Quakers were neither a very numerous
nor a very opulent class. We can hardly suppose that they were
more than a fiftieth part of the Protestant population of
Ireland, or that they possessed more than a fiftieth part of the
Protestant wealth of Ireland. They were undoubtedly better
treated than any other Protestant sect. James had always been
partial to them: they own that Tyrconnel did his best to protect
them; and they seem to have found favour even in the sight of the
Rapparees.156 Yet the Quakers computed their pecuniary losses at
a hundred thousand pounds.157

In Leinster, Munster and Connaught, it was utterly impossible for
the English settlers, few as they were and dispersed, to offer
any effectual resistance to this terrible outbreak of the
aboriginal population. Charleville, Mallow, Sligo, fell into the
hands of the natives. Bandon, where the Protestants had mustered
in considerable force, was reduced by Lieutenant General
Macarthy, an Irish officer who was descended from one of the most
illustrious Celtic houses, and who had long served, under a
feigned name, in the French Army.158 The people of Kenmare held
out in their little fastness till they were attacked by three
thousand regular soldiers, and till it was known that several
pieces of ordnance were coming to batter down the turf wall which
surrounded the agent's house. Then at length a capitulation was
concluded. The colonists were suffered to embark in a small
vessel scantily supplied with food and water. They had no
experienced navigator on board: but after a voyage of a
fortnight, during which they were crowded together like slaves in
a Guinea ship, and suffered the extremity of thirst and hunger,
they reached Bristol in safety.159 When such was the fate of the
towns, it was evident that the country seats which the Protestant
landowners had recently fortified in the three southern provinces
could no longer be defended. Many families submitted, delivered
up their arms, and thought themselves happy in escaping with
life. But many resolute and highspirited gentlemen and yeomen
were determined to perish rather than yield. They packed up such
valuable property as could easily be carried away, burned
whatever they could not remove, and, well armed and mounted, set
out for those spots in Ulster which were the strongholds of their
race and of their faith. The flower of the Protestant population
of Munster and Connaught found shelter at Enniskillen. Whatever
was bravest and most truehearted in Leinster took the road to

The spirit of Enniskillen and Londonderry rose higher and higher
to meet the danger. At both places the tidings of what had been
done by the Convention at Westminster were received with
transports of joy. William and Mary were proclaimed at
Enniskillen with unanimous enthusiasm, and with such pomp as the
little town could furnish.161 Lundy, who commanded at
Londonderry, could not venture to oppose himself to the general
sentiment of the citizens and of his own soldiers. He therefore
gave in his adhesion to the new government, and signed a
declaration by which he bound himself to stand by that
government, on pain of being considered a coward and a traitor. A
vessel from England soon brought a commission from William and
Mary which confirmed him in his office.162

To reduce the Protestants of Ulster to submission before aid
could arrive from England was now the chief object of Tyrconnel.
A great force was ordered to move northward, under the command of
Richard Hamilton. This man had violated all the obligations which
are held most sacred by gentlemen and soldiers, had broken faith
with his friends the Temples, had forfeited his military parole,
and was now not ashamed to take the field as a general against
the government to which he was bound to render himself up as a
prisoner. His march left on the face of the country traces which
the most careless eye could not during many years fail to
discern. His army was accompanied by a rabble, such as Keating
had well compared to the unclean birds of prey which swarm
wherever the scent of carrion is strong. The general professed
himself anxious to save from ruin and outrage all Protestants who
remained quietly at their homes; and he most readily gave them
protections tinder his hand. But these protections proved of no
avail; and he was forced to own that, whatever power he might be
able to exercise over his soldiers, he could not keep order among
the mob of campfollowers. The country behind him was a
wilderness; and soon the country before him became equally
desolate. For at the fame of his approach the colonists burned
their furniture, pulled down their houses, and retreated
northward. Some of them attempted to make a stand at Dromore, but
were broken and scattered. Then the flight became wild and
tumultuous. The fugitives broke down the bridges and burned the
ferryboats. Whole towns, the seats of the Protestant population,
were left in ruins without one inhabitant. The people of Omagh
destroyed their own dwellings so utterly that no roof was left to
shelter the enemy from the rain and wind. The people of Cavan
migrated in one body to Enniskillen. The day was wet and stormy.
The road was deep in mire. It was a piteous sight to see, mingled
with the armed men, the women and children weeping, famished, and
toiling through the mud up to their knees. All Lisburn fled to
Antrim; and, as the foes drew nearer, all Lisburn and Antrim
together came pouring into Londonderry. Thirty thousand
Protestants, of both sexes and of every age, were crowded behind
the bulwarks of the City of Refuge. There, at length, on the
verge of the ocean, hunted to the last asylum, and baited into a
mood in which men may be destroyed, but will not easily be
subjugated, the imperial race turned desperately to bay.163

Meanwhile Mountjoy and Rice had arrived in France. Mountjoy was
instantly put under arrest and thrown into the Bastile. James
determined to comply with the invitation which Rice had brought,
and applied to Lewis for the help of a French army. But Lewis,
though he showed, as to all things which concerned the personal
dignity and comfort of his royal guests, a delicacy even
romantic, and a liberality approaching to profusion, was
unwilling to send a large body of troops to Ireland. He saw that
France would have to maintain a long war on the Continent against
a formidable coalition: her expenditure must be immense; and,
great as were her resources, he felt it to be important that
nothing should be wasted. He doubtless regarded with sincere
commiseration and good will the unfortunate exiles to whom he had
given so princely a welcome. Yet neither commiseration nor good
will could prevent him from speedily discovering that his brother
of England was the dullest and most perverse of human beings. The
folly of James, his incapacity to read the characters of men and
the signs of the times, his obstinacy, always most offensively
displayed when wisdom enjoined concession, his vacillation,
always exhibited most pitiably in emergencies which required
firmness, had made him an outcast from England, and might, if his
counsels were blindly followed, bring great calamities on France.
As a legitimate sovereign expelled by rebels, as a confessor of
the true faith persecuted by heretics, as a near kinsman of the
House of Bourbon, who had seated himself on the hearth of that
House, he was entitled to hospitality, to tenderness, to respect.
It was fit that he should have a stately palace and a spacious
forest, that the household troops should salute him with the
highest military honours, that he should have at his command all
the hounds of the Grand Huntsman and all the hawks of the Grand
Falconer. But, when a prince, who, at the head of a great fleet
and army, had lost an empire without striking a blow, undertook
to furnish plans for naval and military expeditions; when a
prince, who had been undone by his profound ignorance of the
temper of his own countrymen, of his own soldiers, of his own
domestics, of his own children, undertook to answer for the zeal
and fidelity of the Irish people, whose language he could not
speak, and on whose land he had never set his foot; it was
necessary to receive his suggestions with caution. Such were the
sentiments of Lewis; and in these sentiments he was confirmed by
his Minister of War Louvois, who, on private as well as on public
grounds, was unwilling that James should be accompanied by a
large military force. Louvois hated Lauzun. Lauzun was favourite
at Saint Germains. He wore the garter, a badge of honour which
has very seldom been conferred on aliens who were not sovereign
princes. It was believed indeed at the French Court that, in
order to distinguish him from the other knights of the most
illustrious of European orders, he had been decorated with that
very George which Charles the First had, on the scaffold, put
into the hands of Juxon.164 Lauzun had been encouraged to hope
that, if French forces were sent to Ireland, he should command
them; and this ambitious hope Louvois was bent on

An army was therefore for the present refused; but every thing
else was granted. The Brest fleet was ordered to be in readiness
to sail. Arms for ten thousand men and great quantities of
ammunition were put on board. About four hundred captains,
lieutenants, cadets and gunners were selected for the important
service of organizing and disciplining the Irish levies. The
chief command was held by a veteran warrior, the Count of Rosen.
Under him were Maumont, who held the rank of lieutenant general,
and a brigadier named Pusignan. Five hundred thousand crowns in
gold, equivalent to about a hundred and twelve thousand pounds
sterling, were sent to Brest.166 For James's personal comforts
provision was made with anxiety resembling that of a tender
mother equipping her son for a first campaign. The cabin
furniture, the camp furniture, the tents, the bedding, the plate,
were luxurious and superb. Nothing, which could be agreeable or
useful to the exile was too costly for the munificence, or too
trifling for the attention, of his gracious and splendid host. On
the fifteenth of February, James paid a farewell visit to
Versailles. He was conducted round the buildings and plantations
with every mark of respect and kindness. The fountains played in
his honour. It was the season of the Carnival; and never had the
vast palace and the sumptuous gardens presented a gayer aspect.
In the evening the two kings, after a long and earnest conference
in private, made their appearance before a splendid circle of
lords and ladies. "I hope," said Lewis, in his noblest and most
winning manner, "that we are about to part, never to meet again
in this world. That is the best wish that I can form for you.
But, if any evil chance should force you to return, be assured
that you will find me to the last such as you have found me
hitherto." On the seventeenth Lewis paid in return a farewell
visit to Saint Germains. At the moment of the parting embrace he
said, with his most amiable smile: "We have forgotten one thing,
a cuirass for yourself. You shall have mine." The cuirass was
brought, and suggested to the wits of the Court ingenious
allusions to the Vulcanian panoply which Achilles lent to his
feebler friend. James set out for Brest; and his wife, overcome
with sickness and sorrow, shut herself up with her child to weep
and pray.167

James was accompanied or speedily followed by several of his own
subjects, among whom the most distinguished were his son Berwick,
Cartwright Bishop of Chester, Powis, Dover, and Melfort. Of all
the retinue, none was so odious to the people of Great Britain as
Melfort. He was an apostate: he was believed by many to be an
insincere apostate; and the insolent, arbitrary and menacing
language of his state papers disgusted even the Jacobites. He was
therefore a favourite with his master: for to James unpopularity,
obstinacy, and implacability were the greatest recommendations
that a statesman could have.

What Frenchman should attend the King of England in the character
of ambassador had been the subject of grave deliberation at
Versailles. Barillon could not be passed over without a marked
slight. But his selfindulgent habits, his want of energy, and,
above all, the credulity with which he had listened to the
professions of Sunderland, had made an unfavourable impression on
the mind of Lewis. What was to be done in Ireland was not work
for a trifler or a dupe. The agent of France in that kingdom must
be equal to much more than the ordinary functions of an envoy. It
would be his right and his duty to offer advice touching every
part of the political and military administration of the country
in which he would represent the most powerful and the most
beneficent of allies. Barillon was therefore passed over. He
affected to bear his disgrace with composure. His political
career, though it had brought great calamities both on the House
of Stuart and on the House of Bourbon, had been by no means
unprofitable to himself. He was old, he said: he was fat: he did
not envy younger men the honour of living on potatoes and whiskey
among the Irish bogs; he would try to console himself with
partridges, with champagne, and with the society of the wittiest
men and prettiest women of Paris. It was rumoured, however that
he was tortured by painful emotions which he was studious to
conceal: his health and spirits failed; and he tried to find
consolation in religious duties. Some people were much edified by
the piety of the old voluptuary: but others attributed his death,
which took place not long after his retreat from public life, to
shame and vexation.168

The Count of Avaux, whose sagacity had detected all the plans of
William, and who had vainly recommended a policy which would
probably have frustrated them, was the man on whom the choice of
Lewis fell. In abilities Avaux had no superior among the numerous
able diplomatists whom his country then possessed. His demeanour
was singularly pleasing, his person handsome, his temper bland.
His manners and conversation were those of a gentleman who had
been bred in the most polite and magnificent of all Courts, who
had represented that Court both in Roman Catholic and Protestant
countries, and who had acquired in his wanderings the art of
catching the tone of any society into which chance might throw
him. He was eminently vigilant and adroit, fertile in resources,
and skilful in discovering the weak parts of a character. His own
character, however, was not without its weak parts. The
consciousness that he was of plebeian origin was the torment of
his life. He pined for nobility with a pining at once pitiable
and ludicrous. Able, experienced and accomplished as he was, he
sometimes, under the influence of this mental disease, descended
to the level of Moliere's Jourdain, and entertained malicious
observers with scenes almost as laughable as that in which the
honest draper was made a Mamamouchi.169 It would have been well
if this had been the worst. But it is not too much to say that of
the difference between right and wrong Avaux had no more notion
than a brute. One sentiment was to him in the place of religion
and morality, a superstitious and intolerant devotion to the
Crown which he served. This sentiment pervades all his
despatches, and gives a colour to all his thoughts and words.
Nothing that tended to promote the interest of the French
monarchy seemed to him a crime. Indeed he appears to have taken
it for granted that not only Frenchmen, but all human beings,
owed a natural allegiance to the House of Bourbon, and that
whoever hesitated to sacrifice the happiness and freedom of his
own native country to the glory of that House was a traitor.
While he resided at the Hague, he always designated those
Dutchmen who had sold themselves to France as the well
intentioned party. In the letters which he wrote from Ireland,
the same feeling appears still more strongly. He would have been
a more sagacious politician if he had sympathized more with those
feelings of moral approbation and disapprobation which prevail
among the vulgar. For his own indifference to all considerations
of justice and mercy was such that, in his schemes, he made no
allowance for the consciences and sensibilities of his
neighbours. More than once he deliberately recommended wickedness
so horrible that wicked men recoiled from it with indignation.
But they could not succeed even in making their scruples
intelligible to him. To every remonstrance he listened with a
cynical sneer, wondering within himself whether those who
lectured him were such fools as they professed to be, or were
only shamming.

Such was the man whom Lewis selected to be the companion and
monitor of James. Avaux was charged to open, if possible, a
communication with the malecontents in the English Parliament;
and he was authorised to expend, if necessary, a hundred thousand
crowns among them.

James arrived at Brest on the fifth of March, embarked there on
board of a man of war called the Saint Michael, and sailed within
forty-eight hours. He had ample time, however, before his
departure, to exhibit some of the faults by which he had lost
England and Scotland, and by which he was about to lose Ireland.
Avaux wrote from the harbour of Brest that it would not be easy
to conduct any important business in concert with the King of
England. His Majesty could not keep any secret from any body. The
very foremast men of the Saint Michael had already heard him say
things which ought to have been reserved for the ears of his
confidential advisers.170

The voyage was safely and quietly performed; and, on the
afternoon of the twelfth of March, James landed in the harbour of
Kinsale. By the Roman Catholic population he was received with
shouts of unfeigned transport. The few Protestants who remained
in that part of the country joined in greeting him, and perhaps
not insincerely. For, though an enemy of their religion, he was
not an enemy of their nation; and they might reasonably hope that
the worst king would show somewhat more respect for law and
property than had been shown by the Merry Boys and Rapparees. The
Vicar of Kinsale was among those who went to pay their duty: he
was presented by the Bishop of Chester, and was not ungraciously

James learned that his cause was prospering. In the three
southern provinces of Ireland the Protestants were disarmed, and
were so effectually bowed down by terror that he had nothing to
apprehend from them. In the North there was some show of
resistance: but Hamilton was marching against the malecontents;
and there was little doubt that they would easily be crushed. A
day was spent at Kinsale in putting the arms and ammunition out
of reach of danger. Horses sufficient to carry a few travellers
were with some difficulty procured; and, on the fourteenth of
March, James proceeded to Cork.172

We should greatly err if we imagined that the road by which he
entered that city bore any resemblance to the stately approach
which strikes the traveller of the nineteenth century with
admiration. At present Cork, though deformed by many miserable
relics of a former age, holds no mean place among the ports of
the empire. The shipping is more than half what the shipping of
London was at the time of the Revolution. The customs exceed the
whole revenue which the whole kingdom of Ireland, in the most
peaceful and prosperous times, yielded to the Stuarts. The town
is adorned by broad and well built streets, by fair gardens, by a
Corinthian portico which would do honour to Palladio, and by a
Gothic college worthy to stand in the High Street of Oxford. In
1689, the city extended over about one tenth part of the space
which it now covers, and was intersected by muddy streams, which
have long been concealed by arches and buildings. A desolate
marsh, in which the sportsman who pursued the waterfowl sank deep
in water and mire at every step, covered the area now occupied by
stately buildings, the palaces of great commercial societies.
There was only a single street in which two wheeled carriages
could pass each other. From this street diverged to right and
left alleys squalid and noisome beyond the belief of those who
have formed their notions of misery from the most miserable parts
of Saint Giles's and Whitechapel. One of these alleys, called,
and, by comparison, justly called, Broad Lane, is about ten feet
wide. From such places, now seats of hunger and pestilence,
abandoned to the most wretched of mankind, the citizens poured
forth to welcome James. He was received with military honours by
Macarthy, who held the chief command in Munster.

It was impossible for the King to proceed immediately to Dublin;
for the southern counties had been so completely laid waste by
the banditti whom the priests had called to arms, that the means
of locomotion were not easily to be procured. Horses had become
rarities: in a large district there were only two carts; and
those Avaux pronounced good for nothing. Some days elapsed before
the money which had been brought from France, though no very
formidable mass, could be dragged over the few miles which
separated Cork from Kinsale.173

While the King and his Council were employed in trying to procure
carriages and beasts, Tyrconnel arrived from Dublin. He held
encouraging language. The opposition of Enniskillen he seems to
have thought deserving of little consideration. Londonderry, he
said, was the only important post held by the Protestants; and
even Londonderry would not, in his judgment, hold out many days.

At length James was able to leave Cork for the capital. On the
road, the shrewd and observant Avaux made many remarks. The first
part of the journey was through wild highlands, where it was not
strange that there should be few traces of art and industry. But,
from Kilkenny to the gates of Dublin, the path of the travellers
lay over gently undulating ground rich with natural verdure. That
fertile district should have been covered with flocks and herds,
orchards and cornfields: but it was an unfilled and unpeopled
desert. Even in the towns the artisans were very few.
Manufactured articles were hardly to be found, and if found could
be procured only at immense prices.174 The truth was that most of
the English inhabitants had fled, and that art, industry, and
capital had fled with them.

James received on his progress numerous marks of the goodwill of
the peasantry; but marks such as, to men bred in the courts of
France and England, had an uncouth and ominous appearance. Though
very few labourers were seen at work in the fields, the road was
lined by Rapparees armed with skeans, stakes, and half pikes, who
crowded to look upon the deliverer of their race. The highway
along which he travelled presented the aspect of a street in
which a fair is held. Pipers came forth to play before him in a
style which was not exactly that of the French opera; and the
villagers danced wildly to the music. Long frieze mantles,
resembling those which Spenser had, a century before, described
as meet beds for rebels, and apt cloaks for thieves, were spread
along the path which the cavalcade was to tread; and garlands, in
which cabbage stalks supplied the place of laurels, were offered
to the royal hand. The women insisted on kissing his Majesty; but
it should seem that they bore little resemblance to their
posterity; for this compliment was so distasteful to him that he
ordered his retinue to keep them at a distance.175

On the twenty-fourth of March he entered Dublin. That city was
then, in extent and population, the second in the British isles.
It contained between six and seven thousand houses, and probably
above thirty thousand inhabitants.176 In wealth and beauty,
however, Dublin was inferior to many English towns. Of the
graceful and stately public buildings which now adorn both sides
of the Liffey scarcely one had been even projected. The College,
a very different edifice from that which now stands on the same
site, lay quite out of the city.177 The ground which is at
present occupied by Leinster House and Charlemont House, by
Sackville Street and Merrion Square, was open meadow. Most of the
dwellings were built of timber, and have long given place to more
substantial edifices. The Castle had in 1686 been almost
uninhabitable. Clarendon had complained that he knew of no
gentleman in Pall Mall who was not more conveniently and
handsomely lodged than the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. No public
ceremony could be performed in a becoming manner under the
Viceregal roof. Nay, in spite of constant glazing and tiling, the
rain perpetually drenched the apartments.178 Tyrconnel, since he
became Lord Deputy, had erected a new building somewhat more
commodious. To this building the King was conducted in state
through the southern part of the city. Every exertion had been
made to give an air of festivity and splendour to the district
which he was to traverse. The streets, which were generally deep
in mud, were strewn with gravel. Boughs and flowers were
scattered over the path.

Tapestry and arras hung from the windows of those who could
afford to exhibit such finery. The poor supplied the place of
rich stuffs with blankets and coverlids. In one place was
stationed a troop of friars with a cross; in another a company of
forty girls dressed in white and carrying nosegays. Pipers and
harpers played "The King shall enjoy his own again." The Lord
Deputy carried the sword of state before his master. The Judges,
the Heralds, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, appeared in all the
pomp of office. Soldiers were drawn up on the right and left to
keep the passages clear. A procession of twenty coaches belonging
to public functionaries was mustered. Before the Castle gate, the
King was met by the host under a canopy borne by four bishops of
his church. At the sight he fell on his knees, and passed some
time in devotion. He then rose and was conducted to the chapel of
his palace, once--such are the vicissitudes of human things--the
riding house of Henry Cromwell. A Te Deum was performed in honour
of his Majesty's arrival. The next morning he held a Privy
Council, discharged Chief Justice Keating from any further
attendance at the board, ordered Avaux and Bishop Cartwright to
be sworn in, and issued a proclamation convoking a Parliament to
meet at Dublin on the seventh of May.179

When the news that James had arrived in Ireland reached London,
the sorrow and alarm were general, and were mingled with serious
discontent. The multitude, not making sufficient allowance for
the difficulties by which William was encompassed on every side,
loudly blamed his neglect. To all the invectives of the ignorant
and malicious he opposed, as was his wont, nothing but immutable
gravity and the silence of profound disdain. But few minds had
received from nature a temper so firm as his; and still fewer had
undergone so long and so rigorous a discipline. The reproaches
which had no power to shake his fortitude, tried from childhood
upwards by both extremes of fortune, inflicted a deadly wound on
a less resolute heart.

While all the coffeehouses were unanimously resolving that a
fleet and army ought to have been long before sent to Dublin, and
wondering how so renowned a politician as his Majesty could have
been duped by Hamilton and Tyrconnel, a gentleman went down to
the Temple Stairs, called a boat, and desired to be pulled to
Greenwich. He took the cover of a letter from his pocket,
scratched a few lines with a pencil, and laid the paper on the
seat with some silver for his fare. As the boat passed under the
dark central arch of London Bridge, he sprang into the water and
disappeared. It was found that he had written these words: "My
folly in undertaking what I could not execute hath done the King
great prejudice which cannot be stopped--No easier way for me
than this--May his undertakings prosper--May he have a blessing."
There was no signature; but the body was soon found, and proved
to be that of John Temple. He was young and highly accomplished:
he was heir to an honourable name; he was united to an amiable
woman: he was possessed of an ample fortune; and he had in
prospect the greatest honours of the state. It does not appear
that the public had been at all aware to what an extent he was
answerable for the policy which had brought so much obloquy on
the government. The King, stern as he was, had far too great a
heart to treat an error as a crime. He had just appointed the
unfortunate young man Secretary at War; and the commission was
actually preparing. It is not improbable that the cold
magnanimity of the master was the very thing which made the
remorse of the servant insupportable.180

But, great as were the vexations which William had to undergo,
those by which the temper of his father-in-law was at this time
tried were greater still. No court in Europe was distracted by
more quarrels and intrigues than were to be found within the
walls of Dublin Castle. The numerous petty cabals which sprang
from the cupidity, the jealousy, and the malevolence of
individuals scarcely deserve mention. But there was one cause of
discord which has been too little noticed, and which is the key
to much that has been thought mysterious in the history of those

Between English Jacobitism and Irish Jacobitism there was nothing
in common. The English Jacobite was animated by a strong
enthusiasm for the family of Stuart; and in his zeal for the
interests of that family he too often forgot the interests of the
state. Victory, peace, prosperity, seemed evils to the stanch
nonjuror of our island if they tended to make usurpation popular
and permanent. Defeat, bankruptcy, famine, invasion, were, in his
view, public blessings, if they increased the chance of a
restoration. He would rather have seen his country the last of
the nations under James the Second or James the Third, than the
mistress of the sea, the umpire between contending potentates,
the seat of arts, the hive of industry, under a prince of the
House of Nassau or of Brunswick.

The sentiments of the Irish Jacobite were very different, and, it
must in candour be acknowledged, were of a nobler character. The
fallen dynasty was nothing to him. He had not, like a Cheshire or
Shropshire cavalier, been taught from his cradle to consider
loyalty to that dynasty as the first duty of a Christian and a
gentleman. All his family traditions, all the lessons taught him
by his foster mother and by his priests, had been of a very
different tendency. He had been brought up to regard the foreign
sovereigns of his native land with the feeling with which the Jew
regarded Caesar, with which the Scot regarded Edward the First,
with which the Castilian regarded Joseph Buonaparte, with which
the Pole regards the Autocrat of the Russias. It was the boast of
the highborn Milesian that, from the twelfth century to the
seventeenth, every generation of his family had been in arms
against the English crown. His remote ancestors had contended
with Fitzstephen and De Burgh. His greatgrandfather had cloven
down the soldiers of Elizabeth in the battle of the Blackwater.
His grandfather had conspired with O'Donnel against James the
First. His father had fought under Sir Phelim O'Neill against
Charles the First. The confiscation of the family estate had been
ratified by an Act of Charles the Second. No Puritan, who had
been cited before the High Commission by Laud, who had charged
under Cromwell at Naseby, who had been prosecuted under the
Conventicle Act, and who had been in hiding on account of the Rye
House Plot, bore less affection to the House of Stuart than the
O'Haras and Macmahons, on whose support the fortunes of that
House now seemed to depend.

The fixed purpose of these men was to break the foreign yoke, to
exterminate the Saxon colony, to sweep away the Protestant
Church, and to restore the soil to its ancient proprietors. To
obtain these ends they would without the smallest scruple have
risen up against James; and to obtain these ends they rose up for
him. The Irish Jacobites, therefore, were not at all desirous
that he should again reign at Whitehall: for they could not but
be aware that a Sovereign of Ireland, who was also Sovereign of
England, would not, and, even if he would, could not, long
administer the government of the smaller and poorer kingdom in
direct opposition to the feeling of the larger and richer. Their
real wish was that the Crowns might be completely separated, and
that their island might, whether under James or without James
they cared little, form a distinct state under the powerful
protection of France.

While one party in the Council at Dublin regarded James merely as
a tool to be employed for achieving the deliverance of Ireland,
another party regarded Ireland merely as a tool to be employed
for effecting the restoration of James. To the English and Scotch
lords and gentlemen who had accompanied him from Brest, the
island in which they sojourned was merely a stepping stone by
which they were to reach Great Britain. They were still as much
exiles as when they were at Saint Germains; and indeed they
thought Saint Germains a far more pleasant place of exile than
Dublin Castle. They had no sympathy with the native population of
the remote and half barbarous region to which a strange chance
had led them. Nay, they were bound by common extraction and by
common language to that colony which it was the chief object of
the native population to root out. They had indeed, like the
great body of their countrymen, always regarded the aboriginal
Irish with very unjust contempt, as inferior to other European
nations, not only in acquired knowledge, but in natural
intelligence and courage; as born Gibeonites who had been
liberally treated, in being permitted to hew wood and to draw
water for a wiser and mightier people. These politicians also
thought,--and here they were undoubtedly in the right,--that, if
their master's object was to recover the throne of England, it
would be madness in him to give himself up to the guidance of the
O's and the Macs who regarded England with mortal enmity. A law
declaring the crown of Ireland independent, a law transferring
mitres, glebes, and tithes from the Protestant to the Roman
Catholic Church, a law transferring ten millions of acres from
Saxons to Celts, would doubtless be loudly applauded in Clare and
Tipperary. But what would be the effect of such laws at
Westminster? What at Oxford? It would be poor policy to alienate
such men as Clarendon and Beaufort, Ken and Sherlock, in order to
obtain the applause of the Rapparees of the Bog of Allen.181

Thus the English and Irish factions in the Council at Dublin were
engaged in a dispute which admitted of no compromise. Avaux
meanwhile looked on that dispute from a point of view entirely
his own. His object was neither the emancipation of Ireland nor
the restoration of James, but the greatness of the French
monarchy. In what way that object might be best attained was a
very complicated problem. Undoubtedly a French statesman could
not but wish for a counterrevolution in England. The effect of
such a counterrevolution would be that the power which was the
most formidable enemy of France would become her firmest ally,
that William would sink into insignificance, and that the
European coalition of which he was the chief would be dissolved.
But what chance was there of such a counterrevolution? The
English exiles indeed, after the fashion of exiles, confidently
anticipated a speedy return to their country. James himself
loudly boasted that his subjects on the other side of the water,
though they had been misled for a moment by the specious names of
religion, liberty, and property, were warmly attached to him, and
would rally round him as soon as he appeared among them. But the
wary envoy tried in vain to discover any foundation for these
hopes. He was certain that they were not warranted by any
intelligence which had arrived from any part of Great Britain;
and he considered them as the mere daydreams of a feeble mind. He
thought it unlikely that the usurper, whose ability and
resolution he had, during an unintermitted conflict of ten years,
learned to appreciate, would easily part with the great prize
which had been won by such strenuous exertions and profound
combinations. It was therefore necessary to consider what
arrangements would be most beneficial to France, on the
supposition that it proved impossible to dislodge William from
England. And it was evident that, if William could not be
dislodged from England, the arrangement most beneficial to France
would be that which had been contemplated eighteen months before
when James had no prospect of a male heir. Ireland must be
severed from the English crown, purged of the English colonists,
reunited to the Church of Rome, placed under the protection of
the House of Bourbon, and made, in every thing but name, a French
province. In war, her resources would be absolutely at the
command of her Lord Paramount. She would furnish his army with
recruits. She would furnish his navy with fine harbours
commanding all the great western outlets of the English trade.
The strong national and religious antipathy with which her
aboriginal population regarded the inhabitants of the
neighbouring island would be a sufficient guarantee for their
fidelity to that government which could alone protect her against
the Saxon.

On the whole, therefore, it appeared to Avaux that, of the two
parties into which the Council at Dublin was divided, the Irish
party was that which it was for the interest of France to
support. He accordingly connected himself closely with the chiefs
of that party, obtained from them the fullest avowals of all that
they designed, and was soon able to report to his government that
neither the gentry nor the common people were at all unwilling to
become French.182

The views of Louvois, incomparably the greatest statesman that
France had produced since Richelieu, seem to have entirely agreed
with those of Avaux. The best thing, Louvois wrote, that King
James could do would be to forget that he had reigned in Great
Britain, and to think only of putting Ireland into a good
condition, and of establishing himself firmly there. Whether this
were the true interest of the House of Stuart may be doubted. But
it was undoubtedly the true interest of the House of Bourbon.183

About the Scotch and English exiles, and especially about
Melfort, Avaux constantly expressed himself with an asperity
hardly to have been expected from a man of so much sense and
experience. Melfort was in a singularly unfortunate position. He
was a renegade: he was a mortal enemy of the liberties of his
country: he was of a bad and tyrannical nature; and yet he was,
in some sense, a patriot. The consequence was that he was more
universally detested than any man of his time. For, while his
apostasy and his arbitrary maxims of government made him the
abhorrence of England and Scotland, his anxiety for the dignity
and integrity of the empire made him the abhorrence of the Irish
and of the French.

The first question to be decided was whether James should remain
at Dublin, or should put himself at the head of his army in
Ulster. On this question the Irish and British factions joined
battle. Reasons of no great weight were adduced on both sides;
for neither party ventured to speak out. The point really in
issue was whether the King should be in Irish or in British
hands. If he remained at Dublin, it would be scarcely possible
for him to withhold his assent from any bill presented to him by
the Parliament which he had summoned to meet there. He would be
forced to plunder, perhaps to attaint, innocent Protestant
gentlemen and clergymen by hundreds; and he would thus do
irreparable mischief to his cause on the other side of Saint
George's Channel. If he repaired to Ulster, he would be within a
few hours' sail of Great Britain. As soon as Londonderry had
fallen, and it was universally supposed that the fall of
Londonderry could not be long delayed, he might cross the sea
with part of his forces, and land in Scotland, where his friends
were supposed to be numerous. When he was once on British ground,
and in the midst of British adherents, it would no longer be in
the power of the Irish to extort his consent to their schemes of
spoliation and revenge.

The discussions in the Council were long and warm. Tyrconnel, who
had just been created a Duke, advised his master to stay in
Dublin. Melfort exhorted his Majesty to set out for Ulster. Avaux
exerted all his influence in support of Tyrconnel; but James,
whose personal inclinations were naturally on the British side of
the question, determined to follow the advice of Melfort.184
Avaux was deeply mortified. In his official letters he expressed
with great acrimony his contempt for the King's character and
understanding. On Tyrconnel, who had said that he despaired of
the fortunes of James, and that the real question was between the
King of France and the Prince of Orange, the ambassador
pronounced what was meant to be a warm eulogy, but may perhaps be
more properly called an invective. "If he were a born Frenchman
he could not be more zealous for the interests of France."185 The
conduct of Melfort, on the other hand, was the subject of an
invective which much resembles eulogy: "He is neither a good
Irishman nor a good Frenchman. All his affections are set on his
own country."186

Since the King was determined to go northward, Avaux did not
choose to be left behind. The royal party set out, leaving
Tyrconnel in charge at Dublin, and arrived at Charlemont on the
thirteenth of April. The journey was a strange one. The country
all along the road had been completely deserted by the
industrious population, and laid waste by bands of robbers.
"This," said one of the French officers, "is like travelling
through the deserts of Arabia."187 Whatever effects the colonists
had been able to remove were at Londonderry or Enniskillen. The
rest had been stolen or destroyed. Avaux informed his court that
he had not been able to get one truss of hay for his horses
without sending five or six miles. No labourer dared bring any
thing for sale lest some marauder should lay hands on it by the
way. The ambassador was put one night into a miserable taproom
full of soldiers smoking, another night into a dismantled house
without windows or shutters to keep out the rain. At Charlemont a
bag of oatmeal was with great difficulty, and as a matter of
favour, procured for the French legation. There was no wheaten
bread, except at the table of the King, who had brought a little
flour from Dublin, and to whom Avaux had lent a servant who knew
how to bake. Those who were honoured with an invitation to the
royal table had their bread and wine measured out to them. Every
body else, however high in rank, ate horsecorn, and drank water
or detestable beer, made with oats instead of barley, and
flavoured with some nameless herb as a substitute for hops.188
Yet report said that the country between Charlemont and Strabane
was even more desolate than the country between Dublin and
Charlemont. It was impossible to carry a large stock of
provisions. The roads were so bad and the horses so weak, that
the baggage waggons had all been left far behind. The chief
officers of the army were consequently in want of necessaries;
and the ill-humour which was the natural effect of these
privations was increased by the insensibility of James, who
seemed not to be aware that every body about him was not
perfectly comfortable.189

On the fourteenth of April the King and his train proceeded to
Omagh. The rain fell: the wind blew: the horses could scarcely
make their way through the mud, and in the face of the storm; and
the road was frequently intersected by torrents which might
almost be called rivers. The travellers had to pass several fords
where the water was breast high. Some of the party fainted from
fatigue and hunger. All around lay a frightful wilderness. In a
journey of forty miles Avaux counted only three miserable cabins.
Every thing else was rock, bog, and moor. When at length the
travellers reached Omagh, they found it in ruins. The
Protestants, who were the majority of the inhabitants, had
abandoned it, leaving not a wisp of straw nor a cask of liquor.
The windows had been broken: the chimneys had been beaten in: the
very locks and bolts of the doors had been carried away.190

Avaux had never ceased to press the King to return to Dublin; but
these expostulations had hitherto produced no effect. The
obstinacy of James, however, was an obstinacy which had nothing
in common with manly resolution, and which, though proof to
argument, was easily shaken by caprice. He received at Omagh,
early on the sixteenth of April, letters which alarmed him. He
learned that a strong body of Protestants was in arms at
Strabane, and that English ships of war had been seen near the
mouth of Lough Foyle. In one minute three messages were sent to
summon Avaux to the ruinous chamber in which the royal bed had
been prepared. There James, half dressed, and with the air of a
man bewildered by some great shock, announced his resolution to
hasten back instantly to Dublin. Avaux listened, wondered, and
approved. Melfort seemed prostrated by despair. The travellers
retraced their steps, and, late in the evening, reached
Charlemont. There the King received despatches very different
from those which had terrified him a few hours before. The
Protestants who had assembled near Strabane had been attacked by
Hamilton. Under a truehearted leader they would doubtless have
stood their ground. But Lundy, who commanded them, had told them
that all was lost, had ordered them to shift for themselves, and
had set them the example of flight.191 They had accordingly
retired in confusion to Londonderry. The King's correspondents
pronounced it to be impossible that Londonderry should hold out.
His Majesty had only to appear before the gates; and they would
instantly fly open. James now changed his mind again, blamed
himself for having been persuaded to turn his face southward,
and, though it was late in the evening, called for his horses.
The horses were in a miserable plight; but, weary and half
starved as they were, they were saddled. Melfort, completely
victorious, carried off his master to the camp. Avaux, after
remonstrating to no purpose, declared that he was resolved to
return to Dublin. It may be suspected that the extreme discomfort
which he had undergone had something to do with this resolution.
For complaints of that discomfort make up a large part of his
letters; and, in truth, a life passed in the palaces of Italy, in
the neat parlours and gardens of Holland, and in the luxurious
pavilions which adorned the suburbs of Paris, was a bad
preparation for the ruined hovels of Ulster. He gave, however, to
his master a more weighty reason for refusing to proceed
northward. The journey of James had been undertaken in opposition
to the unanimous sense of the Irish, and had excited great alarm
among them. They apprehended that he meant to quit them, and to
make a descent on Scotland. They knew that, once landed in Great
Britain, he would have neither the will nor the power to do those
things which they most desired. Avaux, by refusing to proceed
further, gave them an assurance that, whoever might betray them,
France would be their constant friend.192

While Avaux was on his way to Dublin, James hastened towards
Londonderry. He found his army concentrated a few miles south of
the city. The French generals who had sailed with him from Brest
were in his train; and two of them, Rosen and Maumont, were
placed over the head of Richard Hamilton.193 Rosen was a native
of Livonia, who had in early youth become a soldier of fortune,
who had fought his way to distinction, and who, though utterly
destitute of the graces and accomplishments characteristic of the
Court of Versailles, was nevertheless high in favour there. His
temper was savage: his manners were coarse: his language was a
strange jargon compounded of various dialects of French and
German. Even those who thought best of him, and who maintained
that his rough exterior covered some good qualities, owned that
his looks were against him, and that it would be unpleasant to
meet such a figure in the dusk at the corner of a wood.194 The
little that is known of Maumont is to his honour.

In the camp it was generally expected that Londonderry would fall
without a blow. Rosen confidently predicted that the mere sight
of the Irish army would terrify the garrison into submission. But
Richard Hamilton, who knew the temper of the colonists better,
had misgivings. The assailants were sure of one important ally
within the walls. Lundy, the Governor, professed the Protestant
religion, and had joined in proclaiming William and Mary; but he
was in secret communication with the enemies of his Church and of
the Sovereigns to whom he had sworn lealty. Some have suspected
that he was a concealed Jacobite, and that he had affected to
acquiesce in the Revolution only in order that he might be better
able to assist in bringing about a Restoration: but it is
probable that his conduct is rather to be attributed to
faintheartedness and poverty of spirit than to zeal for any
public cause. He seems to have thought resistance hopeless; and
in truth, to a military eye, the defences of Londonderry appeared
contemptible. The fortifications consisted of a simple wall
overgrown with grass and weeds: there was no ditch even before
the gates: the drawbridges had long been neglected: the chains
were rusty and could scarcely be used: the parapets and towers
were built after a fashion which might well move disciples of
Vauban to laughter; and these feeble defences were on almost
every side commanded by heights. Indeed those who laid out the
city had never meant that it should be able to stand a regular
siege, and had contented themselves with throwing up works
sufficient to protect the inhabitants against a tumultuary attack
of the Celtic peasantry. Avaux assured Louvois that a single
French battalion would easily storm such defences. Even if the
place should, notwithstanding all disadvantages, be able to repel
a large army directed by the science and experience of generals
who had served under Conde and Turenne, hunger must soon bring
the contest to an end. The stock of provisions was small; and the
population had been swollen to seven or eight times the ordinary
number by a multitude of colonists flying from the rage of the

Lundy, therefore, from the time when the Irish army entered
Ulster, seems to have given up all thought of serious resistance,
He talked so despondingly that the citizens and his own soldiers
murmured against him. He seemed, they said, to be bent on
discouraging them. Meanwhile the enemy drew daily nearer and
nearer; and it was known that James himself was coming to take
the command of his forces.

Just at this moment a glimpse of hope appeared. On the fourteenth
of April ships from England anchored in the bay. They had on
board two regiments which had been sent, under the command of a
Colonel named Cunningham, to reinforce the garrison. Cunningham
and several of his officers went on shore and conferred with
Lundy. Lundy dissuaded them from landing their men. The place, he
said, could not hold out. To throw more troops into it would
therefore be worse than useless: for the more numerous the
garrison, the more prisoners would fall into the hands of the
enemy. The best thing that the two regiments could do would be to
sail back to England. He meant, he said, to withdraw himself
privately: and the inhabitants must then try to make good terms
for themselves.

He went through the form of holding a council of war; but from
this council he excluded all those officers of the garrison whose
sentiments he knew to be different from his own. Some, who had
ordinarily been summoned on such occasions, and who now came
uninvited, were thrust out of the room. Whatever the Governor
said was echoed by his creatures. Cunningham and Cunningham's
companions could scarcely venture to oppose their opinion to that
of a person whose local knowledge was necessarily far superior to
theirs, and whom they were by their instructions directed to
obey. One brave soldier murmured. "Understand this," he said, "to
give up Londonderry is to give up Ireland." But his objections
were contemptuously overruled.196 The meeting broke up.
Cunningham and his officers returned to the ships, and made
preparations for departing. Meanwhile Lundy privately sent a
messenger to the head quarters of the enemy, with assurances that
the city should be peaceably surrendered on the first summons.

But as soon as what had passed in the council of war was
whispered about the streets, the spirit of the soldiers and
citizens swelled up high and fierce against the dastardly and
perfidious chief who had betrayed them. Many of his own officers
declared that they no longer thought themselves bound to obey
him. Voices were heard threatening, some that his brains should
be blown out, some that he should be hanged on the walls. A
deputation was sent to Cunningham imploring him to assume the
command. He excused himself on the plausible ground that his
orders were to take directions in all things from the
Governor.197 Meanwhile it was rumoured that the persons most in
Lundy's confidence were stealing out of the town one by one. Long
after dusk on the evening of the seventeenth it was found that
the gates were open and that the keys had disappeared. The
officers who made the discovery took on themselves to change the
passwords and to double the guards. The night, however, passed
over without any assault.198

After some anxious hours the day broke. The Irish, with James at
their head, were now within four miles of the city. A tumultuous
council of the chief inhabitants was called. Some of them
vehemently reproached the Governor to his face with his
treachery. He had sold them, they cried, to their deadliest
enemy: he had refused admission to the force which good King
William had sent to defend them. While the altercation was at the
height, the sentinels who paced the ramparts announced that the
vanguard of the hostile army was in sight. Lundy had given orders
that there should be no firing; but his authority was at an end.
Two gallant soldiers, Major Henry Baker and Captain Adam Murray,
called the people to arms. They were assisted by the eloquence of
an aged clergyman, George Walker, rector of the parish of
Donaghmore, who had, with many of his neighbours, taken refuge in
Londonderry. The whole of the crowded city was moved by one
impulse. Soldiers, gentlemen, yeomen, artisans, rushed to the
walls and manned the guns. James, who, confident of success, had
approached within a hundred yards of the southern gate, was
received with a shout of "No surrender," and with a fire from the
nearest bastion. An officer of his staff fell dead by his side.
The King and his attendants made all haste to get out of reach of
the cannon balls. Lundy, who was now in imminent danger of being
torn limb from limb by those whom he had betrayed, hid himself in
an inner chamber. There he lay during the day, and at night, with
the generous and politic connivance of Murray and Walker, made
his escape in the disguise of a porter.199 The part of the wall
from which he let himself down is still pointed out; and people
still living talk of having tasted the fruit of a pear tree which
assisted him in his descent. His name is, to this day, held in
execration by the Protestants of the North of Ireland; and his
effigy was long, and perhaps still is, annually hung and burned
by them with marks of abhorrence similar to those which in
England are appropriated to Guy Faux.

And now Londonderry was left destitute of all military and of all
civil government. No man in the town had a right to command any
other: the defences were weak: the provisions were scanty: an
incensed tyrant and a great army were at the gates. But within
was that which has often, in desperate extremities, retrieved the
fallen fortunes of nations. Betrayed, deserted, disorganized,
unprovided with resources, begirt with enemies, the noble city
was still no easy conquest. Whatever an engineer might think of
the strength of the ramparts, all that was most intelligent, most
courageous, most highspirited among the Englishry of Leinster and
of Northern Ulster was crowded behind them. The number of men
capable of bearing arms within the walls was seven thousand; and
the whole world could not have furnished seven thousand men
better qualified to meet a terrible emergency with clear
judgment, dauntless valour, and stubborn patience. They were all
zealous Protestants; and the Protestantism of the majority was
tinged with Puritanism. They had much in common with that sober,
resolute, and Godfearing class out of which Cromwell had formed
his unconquerable army. But the peculiar situation in which they
had been placed had developed in them some qualities which, in
the mother country, might possibly have remained latent. The
English inhabitants of Ireland were an aristocratic caste, which
had been enabled, by superior civilisation, by close union, by
sleepless vigilance, by cool intrepidity, to keep in subjection a
numerous and hostile population. Almost every one of them had
been in some measure trained both to military and to political
functions. Almost every one was familiar with the use of arms,
and was accustomed to bear a part in the administration of
justice. It was remarked by contemporary writers that the
colonists had something of the Castilian haughtiness of manner,
though none of the Castilian indolence, that they spoke English
with remarkable purity and correctness, and that they were, both
as militiamen and as jurymen, superior to their kindred in the
mother country.200 In all ages, men situated as the Anglosaxons
in Ireland were situated have had peculiar vices and peculiar
virtues, the vices and virtues of masters, as opposed to the
vices and virtues of slaves. The member of a dominant race is, in
his dealings with the subject race, seldom indeed fraudulent,--
for fraud is the resource of the weak,--but imperious, insolent,
and cruel. Towards his brethren, on the other hand, his conduct
is generally just, kind, and even noble. His selfrespect leads
him to respect all who belong to his own order. His interest
impels him to cultivate a good understanding with those whose
prompt, strenuous, and courageous assistance may at any moment be
necessary to preserve his property and life. It is a truth ever
present to his mind that his own wellbeing depends on the
ascendency of the class to which he belongs. His very selfishness
therefore is sublimed into public spirit: and this public spirit
is stimulated to fierce enthusiasm by sympathy, by the desire of
applause, and by the dread of infamy. For the only opinion which
he values is the opinion of his fellows; and in their opinion
devotion to the common cause is the most sacred of duties. The
character, thus formed, has two aspects. Seen on one side, it
must be regarded by every well constituted mind with
disapprobation. Seen on the other, it irresistibly extorts
applause. The Spartan, smiting and spurning the wretched Helot,
moves our disgust. But the same Spartan, calmly dressing his
hair, and uttering his concise jests, on what he well knows to be
his last day, in the pass of Thermopylae, is not to be
contemplated without admiration. To a superficial observer it may
seem strange that so much evil and so much good should be found
together. But in truth the good and the evil, which at first
sight appear almost incompatible, are closely connected, and have
a common origin. It was because the Spartan had been taught to
revere himself as one of a race of sovereigns, and to look down
on all that was not Spartan as of an inferior species, that he
had no fellow feeling for the miserable serfs who crouched before
him, and that the thought of submitting to a foreign master, or of
turning his back before an enemy, never, even in the last
extremity, crossed his mind. Something of the same character,
compounded of tyrant and hero, has been found in all nations
which have domineered over more numerous nations. But it has
nowhere in modern Europe shown itself so conspicuously as in
Ireland. With what contempt, with what antipathy, the ruling
minority in that country long regarded the subject majority may
be best learned from the hateful laws which, within the memory of
men still living, disgraced the Irish statute book. Those laws
were at length annulled: but the spirit which had dictated them
survived them, and even at this day sometimes breaks out in
excesses pernicious to the commonwealth and dishonourable to the
Protestant religion. Nevertheless it is impossible to deny that
the English colonists have had, with too many of the faults, all
the noblest virtues of a sovereign caste. The faults have, as was
natural, been most offensively exhibited in times of prosperity
and security: the virtues have been most resplendent in times of
distress and peril; and never were those virtues more signally
displayed than by the defenders of Londonderry, when their
Governor had abandoned them, and when the camp of their mortal
enemy was pitched before their walls.

No sooner had the first burst of the rage excited by the perfidy
of Lundy spent itself than those whom he had betrayed proceeded,
with a gravity and prudence worthy of the most renowned senates,
to provide for the order and defence of the city. Two governors
were elected, Baker and Walker. Baker took the chief military
command. Walker's especial business was to preserve internal
tranquillity, and to dole out supplies from the magazines.201 The
inhabitants capable of bearing arms were distributed into eight
regiments. Colonels, captains, and subordinate officers were
appointed. In a few hours every man knew his post, and was ready
to repair to it as soon as the beat of the drum was heard. That
machinery, by which Oliver had, in the preceding generation, kept
up among his soldiers so stern and so pertinacious an enthusiasm,
was again employed with not less complete success. Preaching and
praying occupied a large part of every day. Eighteen clergymen of
the Established Church and seven or eight nonconformist ministers
were within the walls. They all exerted themselves indefatigably
to rouse and sustain the spirit of the people. Among themselves
there was for the time entire harmony. All disputes about church
government, postures, ceremonies, were forgotten. The Bishop,
having found that his lectures on passive obedience were derided
even by the Episcopalians, had withdrawn himself, first to
Raphoe, and then to England, and was preaching in a chapel in
London.202 On the other hand, a Scotch fanatic named Hewson, who
had exhorted the Presbyterians not to ally themselves with such
as refused to subscribe the Covenant, had sunk under the well
merited disgust and scorn of the whole Protestant community.203
The aspect of the Cathedral was remarkable. Cannon were planted
on the summit of the broad tower which has since given place to a
tower of different proportions. Ammunition was stored in the
vaults. In the choir the liturgy of the Anglican Church was read
every morning. Every afternoon the Dissenters crowded to a
simpler worship.204

James had waited twenty-four hours, expecting, as it should seem,
the performance of Lundy's promises; and in twenty-four hours the
arrangements for the defence of Londonderry were complete. On the
evening of the nineteenth of April, a trumpeter came to the
southern gate, and asked whether the engagements into which the
Governor had entered would be fulfilled. The answer was that the
men who guarded these walls had nothing to do with the Governor's
engagements, and were determined to resist to the last.

On the following day a messenger of higher rank was sent, Claude
Hamilton, Lord Strabane, one of the few Roman Catholic peers of
Ireland. Murray, who had been appointed to the command of one of
the eight regiments into which the garrison was distributed,
advanced from the gate to meet the flag of truce; and a short
conference was held. Strabane had been authorised to make large
promises. The citizens should have a free pardon for all that was
past if they would submit to their lawful Sovereign. Murray
himself should have a colonel's commission, and a thousand pounds
in money. "The men of Londonderry," answered Murray, "have done
nothing that requires a pardon, and own no Sovereign but King
William and Queen Mary. It will not be safe for your Lordship to
stay longer, or to return on the same errand. Let me have the
honour of seeing you through the lines."205

James had been assured, and had fully expected, that the city
would yield as soon as it was known that he was before the walls.
Finding himself mistaken, he broke loose from the control of
Melfort, and determined to return instantly to Dublin. Rosen
accompanied the King. The direction of the siege was intrusted to
Maumont. Richard Hamilton was second, and Pusignan third, in

The operations now commenced in earnest. The besiegers began by
battering the town. It was soon on fire in several places. Roofs
and upper stories of houses fell in, and crushed the inmates.
During a short time the garrison, many of whom had never before
seen the effect of a cannonade, seemed to be discomposed by the
crash of chimneys, and by the heaps of ruin mingled with
disfigured corpses. But familiarity with danger and horror
produced in a few hours the natural effect. The spirit of the
people rose so high that their chiefs thought it safe to act on
the offensive. On the twenty-first of April a sally was made
under the command of Murray. The Irish stood their ground
resolutely; and a furious and bloody contest took place. Maumont,
at the head of a body of cavalry, flew to the place where the
fight was raging. He was struck in the head by a musket ball, and
fell a corpse. The besiegers lost several other officers, and
about two hundred men, before the colonists could be driven in.
Murray escaped with difficulty. His horse was killed under him;
and he was beset by enemies: but be was able to defend himself
till some of his friends made a rush from the gate to his rescue,
with old Walker at their head.206

In consequence of the death of Maumont, Hamilton was once more
commander of the Irish army. His exploits in that post did not
raise his reputation. He was a fine gentleman and a brave
soldier; but he had no pretensions to the character of a great
general, and had never, in his life, seen a siege.207 Pusignan
had more science and energy. But Pusignan survived Maumont little
more than a fortnight. At four in the morning of the sixth of
May, the garrison made another sally, took several flags, and
killed many of the besiegers. Pusignan, fighting gallantly, was
shot through the body. The wound was one which a skilful surgeon
might have cured: but there was no such surgeon in the Irish
camp; and the communication with Dublin was slow and irregular.
The poor Frenchman died, complaining bitterly of the barbarous
ignorance and negligence which had shortened his days. A medical
man, who had been sent down express from the capital, arrived
after the funeral. James, in consequence, as it should seem, of
this disaster, established a daily post between Dublin Castle and
Hamilton's head quarters. Even by this conveyance letters did not
travel very expeditiously: for the couriers went on foot; and,
from fear probably of the Enniskilleners, took a circuitous route
from military post to military post.208

May passed away: June arrived; and still Londonderry held out.
There had been many sallies and skirmishes with various success:
but, on the whole, the advantage had been with the garrison.
Several officers of note had been carried prisoners into the
city; and two French banners, torn after hard fighting from the
besiegers, had been hung as trophies in the chancel of the
Cathedral. It seemed that the siege must be turned into a
blockade. But before the hope of reducing the town by main force
was relinquished, it was determined to make a great effort. The
point selected for assault was an outwork called Windmill Hill,
which was not far from the southern gate. Religious stimulants
were employed to animate the courage of the forlorn hope. Many
volunteers bound themselves by oath to make their way into the
works or to perish in the attempt. Captain Butler, son of the
Lord Mountgarret, undertook to lead the sworn men to the attack.
On the walls the colonists were drawn up in three ranks. The
office of those who were behind was to load the muskets of those
who were in front. The Irish came on boldly and with a fearful
uproar, but after long and hard fighting were driven back. The
women of Londonderry were seen amidst the thickest fire serving
out water and ammunition to their husbands and brothers. In one
place, where the wall was only seven feet high, Butler and some
of his sworn men succeeded in reaching the top; but they were all
killed or made prisoners. At length, after four hundred of the
Irish had fallen, their chiefs ordered a retreat to be

Nothing was left but to try the effect of hunger. It was known
that the stock of food in the city was but slender. Indeed it was
thought strange that the supplies should have held out so long.
Every precaution was now taken against the introduction of
provisions. All the avenues leading to the city by land were
closely guarded. On the south were encamped, along the left bank
of the Foyle, the horsemen who had followed Lord Galmoy from the
valley of the Barrow. Their chief was of all the Irish captains
the most dreaded and the most abhorred by the Protestants. For he
had disciplined his men with rare skill and care; and many
frightful stories were told of his barbarity and perfidy. Long
lines of tents, occupied by the infantry of Butler and O'Neil, of
Lord Slane and Lord Gormanstown, by Nugent's Westmeath men, by
Eustace's Kildare men, and by Cavanagh's Kerry men, extended
northward till they again approached the water side.210 The river
was fringed with forts and batteries which no vessel could pass
without great peril. After some time it was determined to make
the security still more complete by throwing a barricade across
the stream, about a mile and a half below the city. Several boats
full of stones were sunk. A row of stakes was driven into the
bottom of the river. Large pieces of fir wood, strongly bound
together, formed a boom which was more than a quarter of a mile
in length, and which was firmly fastened to both shores, by
cables a foot thick.211 A huge stone, to which the cable on the
left bank was attached, was removed many years later, for the

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